Bax, Arnold: Mater ora Filium

Mater ora Filium (1921)

Mater ora Filium
Ut post hoc exilium
Nobis donet gaudium
Beatorum omnium. Amen.

Fair maiden, who is this bairn
That thou bearest in thine arm?
Sir, it is a kinges son
That in Heaven above doth wone.

Man to father he had none
But himself, God alone,
Of a maiden he would be born
To save mankind that was forlorn.

The kings brought him presents,
Gold, myrrh and frankincense,
To my Son full of might,
King of kings and Lord of Right.

Fair maiden, pray for us
Unto thy Son, sweet Jesus,
That he may send us, of his grace,
In heav’n on high to have a place.

Mother, pray thy son that, after his exile,
he may grant us the joy of all the blessed ones. Amen.

Words: from a manuscript at Balliol College, Oxford
Music: Arnold Bax (1883–1953)